Skellig Michael, Kerry

The majestic Skellig Michael lies 8 miles  off the coast of South West Kerry.

Skellig Michael 10 x 20" Oil on Board

Skellig Michael 10 x 20″ Oil on Board

Skellig Michael towers 714ft. (218 metres) above sea level.

It is a World Heritage Site and a designated Nature Reserve.

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Orchestral Skies

Orchestral Skies – my latest painting with autumn colours in mind.

Orchestral Skies 10 x 20" Oil on Board

Orchestral Skies 10 x 20″ Oil on Board

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Poppy Corner – The Final Touch

Poppy Corner  project

Thinking about the Dublin Canvas  project and the significance of poppy flowers and their history, I was restless to get back to Poppy Corner to complete the mission of bringing colour and creativity to everyday objects in Dublin city.

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E BOOK 2015 IMMAGINE + POESIA

Poetry and Paintings

Check out the latest E Book just published by

Immagine & Poesia

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“Jack Nicholson” – Spray Paint on Canvas by Me…

Check out this great artist’s work. Ray Ferrer – Emotion on canvas.  He is currently down on his luck – you can read his story here and wish him well!

Ray Ferrer - Emotion on Canvas

Please read the entire post and share if you could!

“Jack Nicholson” – Spray Paint on Canvas by Me.
Sold / Commissioned 3ft x 2ft

Ferrer - Jack N

Everything in my Etsy Shop is 50% off to aid w/ our Brain Tumor battle.  Use coupon code ART50 at checkout to get 50% off listed price.  Etsy Shop –>  Ray’s Shop

**Signed / Limited Prints available here: –> “Jack Prints

Also, please have a look at the rest of my blog if you are unfamiliar with our struggle.  My biopsy of the tumor is scheduled, tentatively, for April 21st.  Enjoy the artwork 🙂

Artist Ray Ferrer – Brain Tumor

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Lough Currane, Waterville, Co. Kerry

Lough Currane

Lough Currane, Waterville, Kerry - Oil on block canvas 50 x 16"

Lough Currane, Waterville, Kerry – Oil on block canvas 50 x 16″

Delighted that  my latest painting of Lough Currane in Co. Kerry is off to its new home just in time for Christmas!

 

A visit from St Nicholas – Your Favourite poem

One of my all time Christmas favourites – A Visit from St. Nicholas -Doesn’t it restore that childhood magic and wonder of Christmas!

poetreecreations.wordpress.com

st-nicholas-mag-1916

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ’kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old…

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Shopping for Art this Christmas

Shopping for art at Christmas – Dublin City

Courtesy of Daily Telegraph

The People’s Art  and Merrion Square

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Christmas Art Shopping in Dublin

Art Shopping this Christmas – Dublin City

Courtesy of Daily Telegraph

The People’s Art Exhibition takes place in Dublin this weekend.

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Painting the Himalayan Range. Sarangkot, Nepal

Painting the Himalayan Range Sarangkot, Nepal

Himalayan Range -Sarangkot 30 x 10" Mixed Media on Nepalese Hand Made Paper

Himalayan Range -Sarangkot 30 x 10″ Mixed Media on Nepalese Hand Made Paper

This is the first painting I have attempted since my return from Nepal. Continue reading

Art + Travel Adventure to Nepal – Kathmandu

Art + Travel Adventure to Kathmandu

Boudhnath Stupa, Nepal - Pilgrims circulate clockwise, spinning prayer wheels

Boudhnath Stupa, Nepal – Pilgrims circulate clockwise, spinning prayer wheels

Discovering Kathmandu

Discovering the allure of the Kathmandu valley with its ancient  history is all-embracing.  It is small and compact covering an area of 220 square miles.   There are seven World Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO which is a number unrivalled anywhere else in the world. Continue reading

Art + Travel Adventure to Nepal – Bhaktapur

Art + Travel in Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur,  founded in 12th century,  is the ‘city of devotees’ and looks just like a medieval city built of brick and ornate wood carvings.  It is one of the three royal cities in the Kathmandu valley and is considered a cultural gem.

Bhaktapur streets

Bhaktapur streets

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Art + Travel Adventure to Nepal – Setting out!

Boudhnath Stupa, Nepal

Boudhnath Stupa, Nepal

A trip to Nepal in November 2014 proved to be very special and inspirational. In order to preserve these great memories, I would like to share some of these moments with you.  I also intend using my photos as inspiration to create new paintings and I hope that you will join me on this journey.   Continue reading

Shades of Diversity Art Exhibition – Opening Night

Opening night at Shades of Diversity Art Exhibition

Well, what a great night!

Thank you to everyone who attended on the night, to all the well-wishers, to all those who offered their help and support and of course, all those who bought my paintings – thank you, it was great!

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Shades of Diversity Art Exhibition – Sneak Peek!

Shades of Diversity Preview

Thought I’d take a final visit to the library today  ‘ just to be sure, to be sure’  that everything was just fine for the opening of my exhibition tomorrow. Continue reading

Busy at work with Shades of Diversity Art Exhibition

East Coast Sunset 20x30 Oil on canvas

East Coast Sunset 20×30 ” Oil on canvas

This is one of the paintings I have prepared for The Shades of Diversity Exhibition.  Time is closing in and no matter how prepared you think you are, there still seems to be lots of work to do.  Here is a quick insight into the “organised chaos”

Work in Progress - Cliffs of Moher

Work in Progress – Cliffs of Moher

Shades of Diversity 2

Chaos prevails!

Shades of Diversity 3

Nothing like fresh air and sunshine – the quick-dry method!

Preparation for Shades of Diversity Exhibition

Packed up and ready to go!

The exhibition takes place in Ballyroan Library, Rathfarnham Dublin on 8th October all the way through to 29th October.

I hope you can come along for a visit.

Poolnabrone Dolmen

Shades of Diversity – Art Exhibition

Shades of Diversity

 is an exhibition of  my paintings, which will be displayed in Ballyroan Library throughout the month of October and  will be for sale to the general public. Continue reading

The People’s Art July 2014 Exhibition is here!

 The People’s Art July 2014

will once again take place on the Green  this coming  weekend 25th – 27th July 2014

Galway Hookers Oil painting, 20 x 30 Donna McGee

Galway Hookers

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Art Award of Excellence – Gateway to Heaven

Receiving this award of excellence was heavenly:

Gateway to Heaven 16 x 12 Oil on block canvas

Gateway to Heaven
16 x 12 Oil on block canvas

Award of Excellence 

from Four Points Contemporary 3rd Biannual Competition

with my painting entitled Gateway to Heaven

This Competition was juried by Flavia Cosma, the Executive

Director Int’l Writers & Artists’ Residency Quebec, Canada.

Press Release

Art Award – Evening Catch

 

Delighted to receive an art award and the recognitionward of Excellence from Four Points Contemporary

3rd Biannual Competition

with my painting entitled Evening Catch

Evening Catch 20 x 30 Oil on canvas

Evening Catch
20 x 30 Oil on canvas

This Competition  was juried by Flavia Cosma, the Executive Director Int’l Writers & Artists’ Residency Quebec, Canada

See Press Release here

Art Auction with No Reserve

Art Auction Scoop 2014

Art Auction Scoop 2014

“The Filmbase, Temple Bar, are holding a no reserve art auction for the SCOOP Foundation. With over 100 pieces up for grabs, including original pieces created specifically for the event, there will be bargains a plenty to be found. The pieces will be available for viewing on Friday the 13th of June from 5pm, and the auction will be held on Saturday the 14th of June from 2pm.
There will be online and phone bidding available, so contact info@scoopfoundation.com if you wish to avail of either of these services. For further information, or to view some of the pieces available, visit 
http://scoopart.org/.

 

Raising funds to build a school in India, the SCOOP & Mealy’s Art Auction has become a much anticipated event of the summer.

I have dontated my painting “Harvest” for this worthy event

Harvest  Abstract Oil Painting 60x50cms

Harvest Abstract Oil Painting 60x50cms

Please support and share this event.

The Morning After – People’s Art – May 2014

Thank you for visiting the Open Air Art Exhibition in St. Stephens Green  last weekend  but if you didn’t make it, here is a short video of the  Exhibition  in Dublin kindly put together by artist, Pervaneh Matthews.

It is now the morning after and despite torrential rain never before seen in the lovely month of May, we managed to keep our spirits up along with the umbrellas, tarpaulins, plastic sheeting, anything and everything that gave shelter from the unrelenting Irish monsoon. 😡

 

‘Think I’ll start lining up Statues of Prague for the next exhibition on 20th -22nd June!

 

 

The People’s Art – May 2014

 

The People’s Art  May 2014  Festival Weekend

Skellig Michael 18 x 6" Oil Painting

Skellig Michael 18 x 6″ Oil Painting

The open air art festival takes place this weekend 9th -11th May  in the centre of Dublin city at St. Stephens Green.

This event is brought together by a voluntary, non profit making group, and Dublin City Council  to promote the visual arts to the public in general.   Donations are also made to local charities.

Exhibitions will take place as follows:

  • 09th – 11th May
  • 20th – 22nd June
  • 25th – 27th July
  • 22nd – 24th August
  • 19th – 21 September
  • 05th – 07th December

This promises to be a great event and is not to be missed.

I will be located on the north side,  near Dawson Street. so if you are in the area, please drop by and say hello.

I wish I was a Gannet!

 

I wish I was a gannet (well…. maybe for  just for a little while! )

From our boat trip along the shores of Carrigaholt and  around Loop Head, we were mesmerized by the gannets as they dive-bombed into the sea from up to 40 metres and hit the water with a streamlined elegance that Tom Daley and his Olympic buddies could only attempt to emulate.

Gannets are the most  amazing seafaring birds to watch.   They are the largest of Ireland’s sea birds and with a wingspan of just under 2m.   They have snow-white plumage,  are tipped with black on the wings and are crowned with a buttery almond glow.

The Gannet Watch 24 x 16 Oil on Canvas

The Gannet Watch 24 x 16 Oil on Canvas

As the boat swayed to and fro, I gazed up into the morning light and thought about my best efforts at a pencil dive, then as I watched another rapid dive,  I thought …… no more cooking….. no more cleaning up…… sushi for every meal – how wonderful and simple life could be!  I wish I was a gannet!

Shortly thereafter, we arrived back to shore!

What would you like to be?

The Pigeon House, Dublin

Pigeon House Dublin 14 x 12" Oil on canvas Oil Painting Donna McGee

Pigeon House Dublin 14 x 12″ Oil on canvas

About The Pigeon House

The Pigeon House, also referred to as The Poolbeg Generating Station is situated on the River Liffey in Ringsend Dublin.  The iconic chimneys are so-called, because of their caretaker John Pidgeon. The story began with the shipping difficulties encountered in navigating  Dublin bay around the time of the late 1700’s.  Construction work began to make the channel deeper and The Great South Wall, the longest of its kind in Europe was constructed.

A more permanent fort  built shortly afterwards,  remained in operation until 1897, when the building was sold to Dublin Corporation.  They wished to build a power station to supply energy to the fast-growing city.  The power station, initially coal-fired, began operation in 1903.

View of The Pigeon House in the distrance from Dalkey © Donna McGee

Distant view of The Pigeon House from Dalkey © Donna McGee

It was finally decommissioned in 1976.  Its massive chimneys became a famous Dublin landmark and have become a favorite with many artistic interpretations.

Take a flight inside the Poolbeg Chimneys

Charting the Contours of a Controversial Poet

The subject of this portrait is the face of Ezra Pound (1885 – 1972) a complicated man with a formidable reputation and known for his virulent anti-semitic outbursts.

Ezra Pound sketch © donna mcgee

Ezra Pound
Charcoal drawing 12×8″

This angular and introspective looking face, lined with the contours of a life of controversy was mesmerizing to me and prompted this charcoal sketch.  [credit: Irish Times]

He made a great contribution to literature and is considered the poet most responsible for defining and promoting a modernist aesthetic in poetry. He advanced the work of such major contemporaries as W. B. YeatsRobert FrostWilliam Carlos WilliamsMarianne MooreH. D., James JoyceErnest Hemingway T. S. Eliot.

His best-known works include Ripostes (1912), Hugh Selwyn Mauberley (1920) and his unfinished 120-section epic, The Cantos (1917–69).

International Art Award – Atlantic Crash

Four Points Contemporary

2nd Bi-Annual Juried International Art Competition

2nd Place Award

Absolutely delighted  that I was selected  for an award in 2nd place with my painting Atlantic Crash

Award Winning Oil Painting Atlantic Crash, Atlantic Ocean, Waves Crashing against Rocks, stormy seas, west coast of Ireland, stormy skies, © www.donnamcgee.ie

Atlantic Crash 23 x 15″ Oil on board

Juried by Reginald Charles Adams, C0-founder of Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston

Many congratulations to all the other participants.  You can find details of the winning entries here

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Happy New Year 2014 and may all of your dreams come true…

Happy New Year – courtesy of Mark Waples

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Christmas Angel signifying peace sitting at the stairway to heaven

Peace at Christmas

LST On-Line Art Competition

I am very pleased that my painting The Wicklow Way has been selected

3rd place  in the Overall Winning Category,

and

2nd place in the Painting and Other Category

Light Space & Time Online Gallery 3rd Annual Countryside Art Competition.

Award Winning Oil Painting Wicklow Way 10 x 12" Oil on Canvas Donna McGee

Wicklow Way 10 x 12″ Oil on Canvas

The gallery received 343 entries from 14 different countries from around the world and from 26 different American States.

Please take a few moments to look at the videos, where you will see some great paintings from around the world, accompanied by lovely soothing music.  Now, all you have to do is sit back,  relax and  enjoy!

New Irish Art Update

Fuschia Sunset 20 x 30" Oil on canvas © donna mcgee

Fuschia Sunset 20 x 30″ Oil on canvas

I have updated my art on the New Irish Art Website.

New Irish Art Update

I invite you to   browse around the site and see the huge selection of amazing and diverse work from over 500 artists.

Enjoy – you might even find that perfect and unique Christmas gift 😉

Safe Haven

Safe_Haven_  Cave Oil on canvas 20 x 30" © Donna McGee

Safe Haven – Oil Painting on Canvas 20 x 30″

Inspiration from a trip to the west coast of Ireland and in particular to the dramatic cliff walks in Kilkee, Loop Head and boat trips from Carrigaholt, I tried to capture the memory of this  special place.   

The painting, Safe Haven  began  to evolve and become an immersive virtual environment of sedimentary rock formation that could give shelter from the elemental forces of nature.

 “The spectacular scenery at the Mouth of the Shannon ranges from pastoral slopes and sand dunes to very dramatic cliffs with exposed layers of sand & mud sedimentary rock dating back 350 million years.

The ledges create ideal nesting areas for thousands of sea birds every year, including guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes and fulmars.

Cliffs, coastal caves, sea stacks, rock folds and historic maritime features all contribute to this wealth of natural beauty to be seen from the water”.  Dolphin Watch Carrigaholt

– could this be a safe haven for the weary boatman to shelter from the stormy seas?

or

– a safe haven for  wildlife such as the  grey seals that also populate this area?

Either way, it is a place to explore!

My Meraki Painting

I came across the Greek word “Meraki” and its meaning caught my attention.  For me, all I could think of was that it had to apply to a painting.  This is the nearest English translation:

“Meraki” to do something with soul, creativity, or love; to put something of yourself into your work

meraki [may-rah-kee] (adjective) of Greek origin

Sunlight through the trees

Meraki 10 x 14″ Oil on Canvas

And so, this is my Meraki painting!  It has been sitting on my easel for quite a while now – nameless, so I am happy to have found a title to compliment it.  These are the kind of scenes I like to paint because they are the places my mind often visits and lingers for a while.

I hope you like it.

Make hay while the sun shines

Having just come back from a trip to the west coast of Ireland and in particular the very beautiful  Co. Clare,  my mind was racing with images and photographs of subject matter for painting.

The Loop Head Peninsula is where the River Shannon opens out to the Atlantic Ocean.  Next stop – America!

Magnificent architectural  rock formations of the peninsula trace the evolution of a large scale river delta during the Upper Carboniferous Period about 320 million years ago.

Despite images flooding my mind of the untamed waters of Kilkee, Loop Head and the majestic  Cliffs of Moher, my thoughts were of rock formations, flora and fauna and the onset of Autumn colour  – I found myself painting  abstracts in  oil.

“Making hay while the sun shines” or in other words, taking full advantage of the extended period of sunshine, now that Autumn has arrived.  Painting, varnishing, framing – multi-tasking en plein air and sunshine in the comfort of my garden – bliss!

These are some of the miniature 5 x 5″ oil paintings showcased in white frames that I have worked on and I hope you like them.

I look forward to more painting in my garden while this borrowed sunshine lingers and hope to post the results of my work  here shortly.

 

The Secret of the Sea

“My soul is full of longing
for the secret of the sea,
and the heart of the great ocean
sends a thrilling pulse through me.” 

― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The_Secret_of_the_sea_oil_painting_donna_mcgee

The Secret of the Sea 20×30″ Oil on Canvas © http://www.donnamcgee.ie

Please  share  if you like this painting –  thanks!

Evening Glow

burning light of the setting sun re-ignites the dormant marshlands oil painting

Evening Glow – Oil based mixed media on block canvas 24 x 36″ © http://www.donnamcgee.ie

The burning light of the setting sun re-ignites the dormant marshlands.

Please share this post  if you like the painting.

Connemara Views

A recent trip from Galway city to Clifden  and on to Cleggan left me feeling much inspired.

It was a cold and wet day  but the constant changing light danced around the rugged  landscape,  shifting its mood and tone as it contrasted  with the Twelve Bens   mountain range to the north. Sheep grazed in the surrounding  bog-lands that were illuminated by shades of gold as time stood still.

This painting reflects my memory of the trip.

DonnaMcGee_Connemara_Oil_Painting_

Connemara View 10 x 12 Oil painting on block canvas © http://www.donnamcgee.ie

While I am speaking about the glories of Ireland and its rich countryside, may I take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Happy Christmas everyone!

Reindeer, Rudolph stops by water, pond reflections in a snowy scene

A moment in the magic of Christmas

May the timeless message of Christmas fill your hearts and homes with joy and health and happiness throughout the coming year.

With thanks to https://www.facebook.com/wildforWildlifeandNature

LST Open Art Competition Awards

Open Art Competition Award

Award winning oil painting - Donna McGee - Large poppies, orange flowers, sunlight and flowers oil painting

Poppies – Oil on block canvas 20 x 32″ © http://www.donnamcgee.ie

 

4th Place Overall Category 

in the   Light Space & Time 

Open Art Competition – September 2012

and

3rd Place  in the Painting & Other Category Competition

Congratulations to all the other participants and award winners.  My  thanks to Light Space & Time   for the opportunity and  support.

The gallery received submissions from 18 different countries from around the world and they also received entries from 32 different American states. Overall, there were 654 entries from 188 different artists that were judged for this art competition.

Issuu Event Catalogue

 

Related Posts : Abstract Art Award

Sunshine in my Heart

Sunshine on Magheramore Beach, Wicklow

Maghermore Beach, Co. Wicklow, east coast of ireland, sandy beach, rock pools, cliffs, water reflections

Maghermore Beach, Co. Wicklow – 8×10″ Oil on Canvas © http://www.donnamcgee.ie

The long bank holiday weekend in August – already thinking about school uniforms, book lists …. and all the routine “duty” that is so much a part of this time of year.

But hey, I’m still waiting for the summer to come! What is happening  to our planet? Is it Global Warming?  Global Freezing?

The rains came and made our gardens grow,  the  grass grew greener, then more rain came and flooded our fields and gave headaches to  the farmers.

Quietly, I wait for the sun to announce summertime.

Well,  last weekend the sun came!  We made it to one of my favourite places – Magheramore Beach in County Wicklow.  This small little secluded beach embraced children playing, families picnicking, people swimming,  dogs prancing with delight and we even saw a seal proudly perch its head above the waves as if to say “Hi – let’s play”.

My camera phone and my sketch pad kept me  peacefully engaged in quiet absorption as I stole away some time to record the scene.  The sun shone and the undulating waves rippled a slow mesmerizing imprint on the shoreline.

I transferred my sketch to canvas as soon as I returned  –   hoping that somehow I could hold this sunshine in my heart just a bit longer.

Titanic – Heart of the Ocean

Heart of the Ocean

Depicted in the fictionalised epic romance film, The Titanic of 1997,  the necklace,  so-called “the heart of the ocean” drifts to the sea floor.

This symbolises the  1,517  lives lost on the sinking of the ocean liner,  RMS Titanic  in 1912, amidst all their valued possessions as their journey comes to an end.

The Heart of the Ocean Necklace from The Titanic Oil  based Mixed Media Painting

Heart of the Ocean - 27 x 20" Mixed Media

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Woodland Fall

Massy's Wood, Dublin Mountain Trail, woodland winter scene

Woodland Fall - Massy's Wood 10x12" Oil on board

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.

The winds will blow their own freshness into you,

and the storms their energy,

while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”

John Muir (1838 – 1914), Scotland / USA

The first walk of the new year through  Massy’s Wood, a recreation site,  along the Dublin Mountain Trail.  The ground was soft and the air was fresh.  I photographed this  scene with my  mobile  phone,  did some quick sketches, then launched myself into the painting.

Making plans !

January Blue or not so Blue

A Bright New Start

A veil of silence permeates through the house   –   no sounds of I-phones, I-pads, headphones or telephones, radio nor TV ;   just me and the occasional creak and gurgle echoes throughout  the house as the shrill winds outside knock on every window and bang on every door,  looking for entry.

Christmas has passed along with the ringing in of 2012.  Parties attended, old friends reunited, waistlines expanded, all now absorbed in one big fading but happy memory.

And so it is Monday morning!  My family are housed where they are destined to be – work, college or school.  And then, there’s me here in my studio, filled with these passing thoughts; one hundred paintings in my head and several hundred reference photos begging to be explored.

How exciting and daunting all at the same time!   Here goes!

Happy New Year everyone!

Seasons Greetings !

Seasons Greetings

Seasons Greetings

Making it all affordable!

Tired of listening to all this talk of recession and budget restraints:

Here is what I have been doing:

Wicklow hills

Miniature Landscape Series 1

Wicklow hills

Miniature Landscape Series 2

Wicklow hills

Miniature Landscape Series 3

Wicklow hills

Miniature Landscape Series 4

 purple seascape

Miniature Landscape Series 5

Wicklow hills

Miniature Landscape Series 6

The above are a selection of some of the  miniature paintings  I have been working on, all  inspired  from regular walks through  the Dublin and Wicklow mountain ranges, which are in easy reach of where I live.

They are all oil paintings  on canvas and range in price from €75 – €100 which I think makes buying original art affordable!

What do you think?

The Fruit Seller and Cambodian Culinary Delights

Having just returned from a truly amazing trip to Cambodia and Vietnam, I would like to invite you to share with me some of the magic that we encountered along the way.

We arrived In Siem Reap, Cambodia which is the base for exploring the fabled temples of Angkor, the ancient capital of the Khmer empire.  We then travelled a five-hour journey by road  to Cambodia’s capital,  Phnom Penh.    Along the way, we saw countless paddy fields, water buffalo, cows and houses built on stilts to protect the homes in the rainy season.

Phnom Penh is said to be undergoing a modern renaissance and it was a  stark contrast to the quiet country life we encountered along the road.   Steeped in charm, beauty and a rich culture of ancient Khmer history,  its  people smile with a gentleness that appears unbowed  by the  wars,  genocide and  poverty that has besieged their country.

The Cambodian Fruit Seller

The Cambodian Fruit Seller - Oil on board 18 x 24"

This is my first painting reflecting my travels.

It is so commonplace to see the street traders selling their wares, hoping to catch your eye, hoping to engage   –   a sale, a dollar!

Fruit and Vegetable vendors on the streets of Cambodia

Going to Market

In Phnom Penh, we came upon many food markets.  These were a feast for my eyes with a humming energy ever-present. The colours, the textures, the smells of fish, fruit and fowl all mingled together to create a pungent aroma. Chickens squawked, frogs leapt and fish squirmed while underfed cats came to see what  offerings could be had.

Cooked Snakes on Skewers to eat

Crispy Snake for Sale

All kinds of food was on offer with fruits I’d never seen nor heard of before.  My imagination was rather more stretched when I saw such things as spiders being served as a delicacy.  Tourists gathered round and dared each other to taste the culinary delights.  I played my role through “observation” only!

Spiders to eat in a Cambodian Market

Spiders - Roasted n Toasted!

Crickets for sale in a Cambodian food market

Crickets 'n all !

Suckling Pig

Suckling Pig

Crystallsing the palm sugar
Crystallsing the palm sugar

The palm tree is very interesting because of how useful it is.  Every part of the tree  has a purpose,  even the roots of the tree play their part.  In this photograph, the girl is cooking the sap from the palm tree and stirring it until it crystallizes.  It is then wrapped in palm leaves and sold for cooking purposes.  This is a high quality 100% natural food product.

We also tasted some palm sugar wine and needless to say, it was delicious.

Check back soon to see my next posting on Asian charm and my next painting.

Market Day in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Market Day in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Where in the World is Hannah?

Young girl, Hannah on the beach with dog, west coast of Ireland, Spanish Point

Where in the World is Hannah?

Hannah strolls the beach with  Muffy.  The evening light casts long shadows and reflections while a pink and purple hue invades the landscape.  The world is at her feet,  full of hopes, dreams and possibilities!

My inspiration for this painting happened when earlier in the year we visited Spanish Point.

Spanish Point is located on the west coast of county Clare Ireland.  It takes it’s name  from the unfortunate Spanish who died  in 1588, when many ships of the Spanish Armada were wrecked during stormy weather.   It is more renowned today as being one of the best surfing sites on the west coast of Ireland.

I used handmade paper from South India 320 gsm with watercolour and ink.

My Plein Air Dingle Trip

On a sunny Sunday morning in May, I embarked on my journey from Dublin to Dingle, Co. Kerry.   A week of painting outdoors, or otherwise known as En Plein Air.  The car was laden down with field easels,  oil paints, turps, linseed oil,  stretched canvas of all shapes and sizes, clothes to paint in, clothes for warm weather, clothes for cold weather, raingear and the list goes on….   I arrived in Dingle a couple of hours later and was greeted by a number of other like-minded artists who had also packed the so-called ‘kitchen sink’ in preparation for our week of painting.

Dingle (Irish: An Daingean / Daingean Uí Chúis, meaning “Ó Cúis’ fort”) is the only town on the Dingle Peninsula, and sits on the Atlantic coast.   It is also the place where the Academy Award winning Ryan’s Daughter was filmed back in the ‘70’s. The town was developed as a port following the Norman invasion of Ireland and has a population of just over 1900. The western end of the peninsula is a Gaeltacht  (Irish-speaking area). This is the most western part of Ireland, and the village of Dún Chaoin is often jokingly referred to as “the next parish to America”.  It has stunning scenery and the Blasket Islands lie off the west coast of the peninsula.  It was the perfect place for landscape and seascape painting.

Blasket Islands, Irish skyline, Kerry, west coast of Ireland

Blasket Islands Oil Painting 20 x 30 on canvas

We travelled high and low, through the narrow roads of Conor Pass, on to Inch Strand, Slea HeadBallyferriter and sometimes we just had to curb our enthusiasm and wait until the traffic cleared:

cows crossing the road blocking the traffic, dingle, kerry countryside

Traffic Calming Measures in Dingle

We set out one day and arrived at a place  called Duineen with a magnificent  mountain range and a river system sometimes referred to as  the Three Sisters.  We started the day with the sun shining as the waves danced and glimmered against the rocks.  Seconds later, dark skies and hailstones, came from God knows where. The waves kicked up a storm and sprayed us with a cool mist while we tried in vain to protect the paintings and the easels from blowing away…. 

Peaked mountain range oftentimes referred to as the Three Sisters, with sea crashing against the rocks, Dingle peninsula, Atlantic coast

Another glorious day, the sun beat down on us and I imagined myself in far off sunny climes.  All the superfluous layers of clothing were abandoned as we squinted away from the glare of the sun and topped up our delicate features regularly with sun cream.

Sea beating against the rocks on Dingle Peninsula, Atlantic rugged coastline

Clogher Beach, Dingle

Next day, we decided to go inland and pulled off to the side of the road.  Came upon this amazing place called Kilmalkedar, an early medieval ecclesiastical site with a church dating back to the 12th century.   This was a fine example of Irish Romanesque architecture when Ireland was trying to bring itself more into line with the rest of Europe.  There was a sundial, a large cross and an ogham stone (Celtic alphabet).   Inside the church was a 6th century stone carved with the letters DNI representing Domini.  Many tourist buses came and went while we painted, but I found it charming when the school children arrived and all spoke fluent Irish as their Múinteoir (teacher) educated them on the enormous historical value of the site.

Ancient ecclesiastical church dating back to 12th century, historical site

Kilmalkedar

Atlantic coastline, view of Dingle peninsula, many shades of green, sheep grazing

View from Kilmalkedar – Oil on board 14×18″

The days went by quickly.  Dedicated painting throughout the day, then lots of chat and laughter as we exchanged our stories and discussed the day’s events over a nice meal. Friendships blossomed and many beautiful paintings were created in oils, acrylics and watercolours, each and every one unique.  I look back now with fond memories of my plein air painting experience in Dingle.

The Silent Journey

Cruagh Wood, Dublin Mountains

Cruagh Wood, Rathfarnham, Dublin

Cruagh Wood, Dublin Mountains

 

High up in the Dublin mountains, pockets of snow littered the landscape as the Spring sunshine and shrill winds competed with one another.  The harsh winter had been left behind and the only evidence remaining was the rush of  Spring water beating a track through the moss coated rocks, deep into the forest.

Collision! – Earthquake in Haiti

 

On 12th January, 2010, twenty miles west of Port-au-Prince, the Haitian  capital was devastated by an earthquake that ripped through the earths surface and claimed the lives of over 200,000 people.

I found myself submerged in thoughts trying to make sense of this chaos – was it God’s doing or was it pure science at play:  platelets and fault lines sliding in opposite directions?

My hands worked tirelessly  and in unison with my scattered thoughts around the canvas, imagining the secret world that lies beneath the earths surface, trying to  understand the angry restlessness that could create such devastation.

Thus,   Collision  was born!

The Art Walk – Liffey Boardwalk!

The Art Walk

Art fair at the Liffey Boardwalk

 

On behalf of The ART WALK art fair I have great pleasure in inviting you to the official opening of The Art Walk art fair at the Liffey Boardwalk on Sunday, 7th June, 2009 at 2pm.

 

Mary Davis, Chairwoman of the Taskforce for Active Citizenship and former CEO of Special Olympics Ireland will be guest of honour and will take part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the event.

 

This summer, the Liffey Boardwalk between the Ha’penny Bridge and O’Connell Bridge will be transformed into The ART WALK, an open air art fair, organised by the North Dublin Student & Artists League.

 I hope to see you there!

Words of Wisdom – Art

Words of Wisdom:

  • Art is a rollercoaster ride – not a merry-go-round!   Harley Brown
  • Every artist dips his brush into his soul and paints his own nature into his pictures! H W Beecher
  • Observation is our most trusted teacher!  Harley Brown
  • Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it!  Salvador Dali
  • Painting is just another way of keeping a diary! Picasso
  • Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes – Art is knowing which ones to keep! S Adams
  • Art is not what you see, but what you enable others to see! Degas

art-ireland1

Donna McGee exhibition at Art Ireland

Donna McGee exhibition at Art Ireland

November 2008

A closer study of one of my paintings by an interested observer  at Art Ireland in RDS Dublin.


 

Solo Exhibition

 Rathfarnham Castle

Donna McGee Solo Exhibition at RathfarnhamCastle, dublin 2008

Donna McGee Solo Exhibition at RathfarnhamCastle, Dublin 2008

Many thanks to all those who attended my first solo public exhibition in Rathfarnham Castle during the week of 12th October 2008.

The opening night was a big success and great fun was had by all.  The exhibition was opened by Karen Harper, Curator for the Nora Dunne Gallery, followed by a drinks reception.

My thanks also to those who gave their support in helping me to organise the exhibition and special thanks to Carmel McDonnell, Karen Harper, Jess Walsh. and Ger Harmon.


The Martime Festival, IFSC, Dublin Docklands 2008

Donna McGee Exhibition at Dublin's IFSC Docklandsy-2008

Donna McGee Exhibition at Dublin’s IFSC Docklands 2008

My exhibition of paintings receiving very close scrutiny by the locals!


Greystones  Arts Festival 2007

Greystones Arts Festival hosted an Arts Trail in various locations around Greystones.  An open submission process invited artists to submit their work ,  which was evaluated by Mary Tuohy and Medb Ruane.  Two of my paintings were selected out of a total of 24 chosen pieces in all.  This event was supported by Cherrylane Fine Arts  in Delgany, Co. Wicklow.